Mushroom & Barley Pilaf


  • 26g dried porcini

  • 200g fresh mushrooms (button, shiitake or any other favourites)

  • 1 ½ cup boiling water

  • 30ml olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 150g barley

  • 175ml vegetable broth

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

  • Fresh parsley

  • Small handful pine nuts (optional)

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 minutes.

  2. Take out the mushrooms and keep the water.

  3. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and barley and cook, stirring, for about a minute.

  4. Add the mushroom broth, the vegetable broth, fresh mushrooms, the bay leaf, the thyme, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, on low heat, for 45 minutes, stirring regularly.

  5. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over low heat

  6. When ready to serve, remove the herbs and add the porcini mushrooms and pine nuts.

Serves 4

Recipe credits.


There are many different types of mushrooms used in Chinese medicine:

Shitake (Xiang Gu): Weakness, fatigue, indigestion, edema, anemia, chronic hepatitis, hypertension, rickets, hyperlipidemia, combats the effects of poisonous mushrooms. decreases night sweats, supportive mushroom in the treatment of cancer.

Cordyceps (Dong Chong Xia Cao): Lung Yin Deficiency with chronic cough and wheezing, consumptive coughs with blood-streaked sputum, asthma due to Kidney and Lung Deficiencies. This mushroom is highly prized in China. It is NOT used with acute onset symptoms, but is instead used for chronic, long term deficiencies and is frequently given to the elderly population.

Ganoderma (Ling Zhi): Nourish the heart and calm the spirit. Heart Blood and Heart Qi Deficiency failing to nourish the Spirit with insomnia, fright, palpitations and forgetfulness (can be used as a stand-alone herb). Deficiency consumption with shortness of breath, lack of appetite and either icy extremities or irritability with a dry mouth.

Polyporus (Zhu Ling), nicknamed “Pig Fungus”: Dampness (Fluid Stagnation) with edema, scanty urination, vaginal discharge, turbid painful urinary dysfunction (Milky Lin), jaundice and diarrheal. Can be used alone for Lin Syndrome (Urinary Tract Infection) during pregnancy. Diuretic. This mushroom is used for short term use only.

Coriolus (Yun Zhi): Jaundice due to Dampness and Heat, poor appetite, loose bowels, hypochondriac pain, lassitude, general weakness, hepatitis, hepatic cirrhosis, nephritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic cough and asthma, jaundice due to Dampness and Heat, poor appetite, loose bowels, hypochondriac pain, lassitude, general weakness.

Medicinal mushroom credits.